Preview by: Jack Foley
HUGH Jackman continues to be an actor who is very much in demand.
Rumours continue to persist linking him to the James Bond role,
once Pierce Brosnan trades in his licence to kill, and the X-Men
franchise shows no sign of wearing thin.
But ever one to keep himself busy (he is currently appearing
on Broadway as well), Jackman will also feature in one of this
Summers potential blockbusters, which may also spawn its
Van Helsing marks the latest film from The Mummy director, Stephen
Sommers, and from its artwork and early promotional material alone,
looks mightily impressive.
The film will revolve around the central character of vampire
hunter, Dr Van Helsing a character already made famous
by Peter Cushing, in the classic Hammer films, and by Anthony
Hopkins, in Francis Ford Coppolas take on Bram Stokers
Dracula as he does battle with the fanged villain, as well
as Frankenstein and the Wolf Man.
Ironically, it was originally mooted, in 1994, as a money spinning
sequel to Dracula, with Hopkins in the title role. But it never
saw the light of day.
Set in late Victorian Eastern Europe, the movie will also see
the British actress, Kate Beckinsale, playing Anna, the daughter
of a family committed to the pursuit of Dracula, teaming up with
Van Helsing in the quest to rid the world of such creatures.
The film marks Universals big venture for 2004 and is rumoured
to have cost $160 million. It was filmed in Prague and, needless
to say, has Jackman very excited.
In an exclusive interview with Empire Online, he describes his
character as a younger and more adventurous swashbuckling
version of Van Helsing, who is a mercenary for the
Catholic Church. Another article describes him as a hero
in the Errol Flynn mode.
Apparently, Van Helsing will be introduced via a segment involving
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, before heading off to do battle with an
out of control Dracula in deepest, darkest Transylvania.
Jackman, no stranger to the physical demands of a blockbuster
role, has said, however, that the stunts required for Van Helsing
were among the most exhausting he has filmed.
Given the hype surrounding the film, which is due to open in
May, there is even talk of a TV drama based around it, with NBC
having already secured the rights.